Oct 30, 2013 1:32 AM by Connie Tran, KSBY News

Arroyo Grande City Council hears from interested candidates on empty seat

People in Arroyo Grande got the chance on Tuesday night to hear from most of the candidates who want to fill the empty seat on the city council. There are five candidates, and four of them came to a forum at the Women's Club Community Center in Arroyo Grande.

The seat on the council was left open when former member Caren Ray was appointed to the San Luis Obispo County of Supervisors in early October. She filled the post held by Paul Teixeira before he died in June of a heart attack. Since Ray left, the Arroyo Grande city council has gotten applications from six people wanting the city council job.

Those six are: Kristen Barneich, Christopher Fontes, Dale Hanson, Barbara Harmon, Burke Nelson, and Gloria Rivera. Rivera has since bowed out of becoming a candidate. Fontes could not make it to Tuesday night's forum because of a last minute work commitment.

Barneich said she is an Arroyo Grande High School graduate, a full-time mom, and currently sits on the Arroyo Grande Planning Commission. Hanson said he's worked in education, with the military, and the federal government. Harmon said she is a 25-year Arroyo Grande resident and retired Santa Barbara County Deputy Probation Officer. Nelson said he is an attorney, musician, and single father.

Voters will not get to choose who fills the seat. The city council will appoint one of the candidates.

"The council will hear the questions and the answers and then you know, as follow up to that, the public's invited to offer their feedback and input to the council and they'll take that, I'm sure, all into consideration on November 12th when we're scheduled to make the appointment," said Steve Adams, the City Manager of Arroyo Grande.

Each candidate had a minute to answer questions from the council and the public. Topics included the city budget, infrastructure, new developments, and fiscal impacts. The forum was put on by the League of Women Voters of San Luis Obispo County.

The city council is expected to make the appointment on November 12th.



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